Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Malaysians Want

My question which might become a theory - Can we make certain assumptions on what are people thinking of, how is the current general mindset and what's interesting in a certain country or region by looking at what they search for?
Today I came across Yahoo's Top Searches for 2008.
According to the link Yahoo's Top Searches for 2008 for Malaysia are as below.

Anwar Ibrahim
Pakatan Rakyat
Lee Chong Wei
Siti Nurhaliza
Selamat Pagi Cinta
Vanessa Hudgens
Resepi Kuih
Josef Fritzl

The first 2 are very related to Politics, with the 3rd item (RPK) also closely related to the same scene. This could mainly be due to the recent elections and still heated politics going on.
The 4th, Lee Chong Wei is interesting. He is a badminton player. Eventhough badminton is a favourite Malaysian sport, I am surprised to see a specific player searched upon so highly. Is there a huge female following who search for Lee Chong Wei??
5th is Siti Nurhaliza, I'd be in the assumption her search rate would have dropped compared to 2007.I can't seem to be able to find a similar summary for Year 2007. Still getting 5th spot in 2008 after marriage and low visibility is impressive for the least.
Selamat Pagi Cinta is a Malay Movie, this one I can't comment much since the last Malay movie I saw was Cicak Man 1, which by the way was pretty good.

Vanessa Hudgens - She is one of the stars in Disney's High School Musical. Recently gone thru some major publicity I believe.

Coming in on 8th is Resepi Kuih. Looks like Malaysians are true to their love for food. I too love Malay kuih, especially for evening drinks (minum petang).

Josef Fritzl is 9th, this one I'd rather not comment much.

And last is Pontianak, a Malay version of a Vampire. There's a movie related to this and this could be possibly why people search for Pontianak. Good thing we can say Malaysians are more interested in Vanessa Hudgens pictures than that of a Pontianak.

So to summarize, Malaysians have a wide appetite, from politics to actress to movies and food.

Now compare this to what per Yahoo, Singaporeans searched for most in 2008

Mas Selamat Kastari
Lo Hwei Yen
Edison Chen
F1 Singapore
Beijing Olympics
Dawn Yang

Now look at what USA searched for most

1Britney Spears
3Barack Obama
4Miley Cyrus
6Jessica Alba
8Lindsay Lohan
9Angelina Jolie
10American Idol

Go figure!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Penang Bridge - Implementation of Tidal Gate Flow System

In the Star Paper (Thursday December 11, 2008, ), I just read that Penang Bridge will implement a Tidal Gate Flow System. This should be good news for the bridge commuters. The current conditions are not smooth is the least I can say.

The efforts to limit the usage time of heavy vehicles during peak hours was a good effort to start with. But traffic is still bad.

Going back to the Tidal Wave Gate, if I understand this correctly, it is a controlled entry from 2 or more entry points into the main span (double lane) of the bridge.

Just imagine 2 large waves colliding, it will create a huge destruction! And it's nothing to do with Tsunami. :)

The Star Article on Penang Bridge (click picture for a clearer view)

However if a small wave 'collides' into a large wave, the smaller wave 'integrates' into the larger waive with lesser impact. I'm not sure how correct is my understanding. Actually in Dec 2007 I wrote to PPSB to f/back about the issue whether there a way too many toll booths providing entry into a 2 lane traffic. Either the bottle neck has to be reduced or regulated.
My Suggestion to PPSB (click picture for a clearer view)

PPSB / PLUS Reply (click picture for a clearer view)

Good job to the authorities on for taking initiatives on trying to fix a long issue. (pun intended :) )
Deep down it feels good that the suggestions given were taken into consideration, regardless if it's related to my suggestion of not. It still feels good.

Another feedback I gave previously and got a reply from PPSB was putting a larger indicator on the 'Tambah Nilai' counter, as it is not visible from far, and in heavy traffic, once you're in the wrong lane, it's hard to change lanes to get into the tambah nilai conunter. Notice now there is an LCD Digital Display for the Tambah Nilai thought still not large enough for my liking.

Let's hope this improves the traffic. Probably in the first few days, there will be havoc from users not familiar with the system, and those trying their best to be Queue Cutters!

UPDATED 23 December 08 - As I mentioned above, knowing Penangites, there will be havoc the first few days. Looks like the authorities gave up after the first day. :p

A snippet from TheStar

"BUTTERWORTH: The Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) has ordered a trial run of the “tidal flow” system on the Penang Bridge to stop because its implementation does not help overcome congestion on the bridge."

Drive Carefully.

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